11 surprising facts about Bill Gates

Most people know three things about Bill Gates:

  1. He’s the richest man in the world
  2. He cofounded one of the most successful tech companies of all time in Microsoft
  3. He’s an extremely generous philanthropist through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

But despite his philanthropic efforts and online presence, there are a lot of things about Gates that many are unaware of.

Here are 11 facts you probably didn’t know about Bill Gates.

1. As a teen at Lakeside Prep School, Gates wrote his first computer program on a General Electric computer. It was a version of tic-tac-toe where you could play against the machine.


Source: Science Museum

2. Gates also read the entire 'World Book Encyclopedia' series during his teenage years.

3. Like many other successful tech entrepreneurs, Gates was a college dropout. He left Harvard University in 1975 to fully devote himself to Microsoft.

William B. Plowman/Getty Images

Source: The Week

4. Two years after he dropped out of Harvard, Gates was arrested in New Mexico. He was driving without a licence and ran a red light.

Wikimedia Commons

Source: The Telegraph

5. Speaking of cars, Gates has quite the Porsche collection. The headliner is his Porsche 959 sports car, which he bought 13 years before the car was approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency or the US Department of Transportation.

Dave Smith/Tech Insider

Source: Wired

6. For air travel, Gates used to fly coach. Nowadays he gets around in the plane he's owned since 1997, which he calls his 'big splurge.'

7. Besides his plane, one of Gates' biggest splurges was the Codex Leicester, a collection of writings by Leonardo da Vinci. He acquired it at a 1994 auction for AUD$41.09 million.

8. Despite his immense wealth, Gates says his kids will only inherit $13 million each -- just a fraction of his $108.2 billion net worth. 'Leaving kids massive amounts of money is not a favour to them,' he says.

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Source: Reddit

9. Though he spends most of his time with his foundation, Gates says he is still working with Microsoft on its 'Personal Agent,' which will 'remember everything and help you go back and find things and help you pick what things to pay attention to.'

P Yim / Getty

Source: Reddit

10. Despite his interest in AI, Gates says he is 'in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence.' That camp also includes notable leaders in science in technology, like Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Source: Reddit

11. Gates says he reads 50 books a year. 'Reading is still the main way that I both learn new things and test my understanding,' he says.

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